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Archive for the ‘User Support’ Category

Crowdsourcing the journal selection process

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Selecting the Best Journals with Crowdsourcing

Since this year JournalTOCs has started to move on to a crowdsourcing model to maintain its growing database of journals.

Reaching the 24,000 journals milestone was the turning point. This number practically represents the bulk of relevant journals that have been selected and added by the selection team of JournalTOCs. In May we recognized that the selection process would greatly benefit from the contributions from professionals interested in having all the relevant journals in JournalTOCs.

The decision of using crowdsourcing was mainly based on two facts:

  1. Our small selection team cannot cope with the hundreds of requests we receive every day, most of them from relatively new Open Access (OA) publishers, asking us to add their journals to JournalTOCs. Very few of those journals pass the selection process.
  2. We had a growing number of talented and enthusiastic users, principally professional academic librarians, who have been helping us with the discovery and evaluation of new journals. Almost all the journals suggested by those users have passed the selection criteria.

Crowdselection works for JournalTOCs because the selection process relies upon the knowledge and requirements of those who actually need to use or provide access for the missing journals. In some way our approach is inspired in a crowdsourcing strategy used in the investment market, where the average price produced by ‘grey markets’ have demonstrated to be more accurate than the predictions made by the experts.

For example: Grey markets ran last year on both the Royal Mail and Twitter IPOs were more accurate in predicting prices than bankers and their advisers. On the Twitter IPO, the grey market predicted shares at the end of first day of trading would be worth $44. They actually ended up at $45.06 – incredibly close, particularly when you consider the price set the “expert” bankers was $26.

It was natural then to provide our valued users with the means to add and edit journals. Without realizing we started to use crowdsourcing to expand and update JournalTOCs. Thus gradually, crowdselection is effectively accomplishing the selection process that was once the province of the specialized team. The initial results are very encouraging.

Adding new journals and updating journals involves very few simple steps. The user counts with tools to first verify that both the publisher and the journals are not already registered with JournalTOCs. After this, the journal, and if necessary, the publisher too, can be added to the database. Crowdselection only adds journals that meet the following Selection Criteria:

  • The journal is a scientific or academic journal that publishes peer-reviewed research papers.
  • The journal must have an editor, an editorial board and a verifiable peer-review system in place.
  • The journal must publish TOC RSS feeds for its most recent issues.
  • The journal can be a magazine provided that it has a proven record of publishing only technical and professional reviewed material that is relevant to industry, government and research (e.g. Harvard Business Review Magazine)
  • The journal is an active journal that has published different issues in this year and the previous year. Brand new journals with only one issue published cannot be added to JournalTOCs. In particular we are carefully with new Open Access journals published by dubious houses.

Crowdselection includes an automated system that verifies new journals and the user who has created the journal is contacted if we notice that further guidance is needed.

A positive consequence of using crowdsourcing to maintain the entire database would be the possibility of making all the features of JournalTOCS Premium, that do not require institutional customisation, freely available to anyone, starting with the users that have helped to maintain the database of journals.

Written by Santiago Chumbe

September 29th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

How to grab an RSS feed of the latest articles of a journal and have it show up as a widget on other website

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To grab an RSS feeds for a particular journal from JournalTOCs, you can use the API call journals. For example:

https://www.journaltocs.ac.uk/api/journals/0143-3369?output=articles&user=super.journaltocs@gmail.com

The above call will grab the feeds produced and normalized by JournalTOCs for the journal with ISSN 0143-3369. You must provide the email address you have used to register with JournalTOCs as the value for the parameter “user”.

By default the links of the individual articles are the original links provided by the publisher or the OpenURL links created with your institutional OpenURL if found available. But, if you want that those links include your ezProxy, you need to use a Premium account. In this case, you or your Account Administrator need to go to your “Service Configuration” window and select the “Accounts” tab and find the “Links to use for the articles returned by the API” section. In this section tick the “Append the Institutional ezProxy” option and hit “Save”. Now your RSS feeds will include your proxy-server string in the URLs that go to individual articles (the <link> element in the RSS feeds (please use browser’s “View Page Source” to view the RSS content)

Normalized Journal TOC RSS feeds

Written by Santiago Chumbe

August 27th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek – JournalTOCs Collaboration

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The University Library of Regensburg and JournalTOCs concluded the implementation of a collaboration agreement to include in the Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek (Electronic Journals Library (EZB)) journals information to enable their users to access to new journal TOCs from their EZB web pages. The new EZB service including the links from JournalTOC was launched on 5th December, 2013. The project mutually benefits both parties. In exchange of receiving free access to the JournalTOCs API, EZB helps with providing feedback and testing new features developed for the API.

journal RSS feeds at EZB

Annually, many journal titles are transferred between publishers, cease publication, have their URLs changed, new titles are published, etc. JISC Collections estimated that over 3400 journal titles were transferred between publishers in the 2009-2011 period only. JournalTOCs is able to keep track of those changes in a systematic or automated way. In particular JournalTOCs can identify when the URL for a journal TOC RSS feeds have been changed, removed or when new TOC RSS feeds are made available. Thus, through its customised APIs, JournalTOCs constantly is providing up-to-date information on journal metadata to research libraries and service partners such as EZB.

EZB was founded in 1997 by the University Library of Regensburg, in Regensburg, Germany; with the aim of presenting e-journals content to library users in a clearly arranged one-stop user-interface and to create for the EZB member libraries and efficient administration tool for e-journal licences. Over 600 institutions from Germany are part of EZB, which is also used by subject libraries and information services. The EZB was a sponsored project by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Bavarian State and the German Research Foundation (DFG). Since 2010 all participant libraries pay a small fee to keep the service ongoing.

Prof. Rafael Ball, Director of the University Library Regensburg, said “We want to give our users more helpful data, so we would like to include the information of JournalTOCs. It would be possible e.g. to integrate the information of JournalTOCs with a symbol and a hint like ‘recent articles’ on the detail site of a journal in EZB. So our users would get the possibility to set a dynamic bookmark, if they want to; we hope to give them a new better benefit with this feature.

JournalTOCs carries out systematic research into new types of integration of journal metadata, and develops new web services for enabling institutions to benefit from the metadata collected by JournalTOCs. The core aim of this research is to ensure that other services can provide their end-users with tailored access to the latest literature published in scholarly journals. JournalTOCs is currently involved with research projects and collaborations, it highly values working with members of the research community and welcomes future opportunities for collaboration particularly in the fields of:

  • Metadata standards for systematic discovery of new research
  • Integration of TOCs metadata within library services
  • Identification and clustering of Open Access articles

You can get in touch with JournalTOCs at: journaltocs@hw.ac.uk

Written by Santiago Chumbe

January 31st, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Exporting Search Results to Reference Manager® (RefMan)

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From time to time, we receive questions about RefMan. For that reason, although Adept have no plans to release new versions of RefMan, we have prepared this small guide to help users needing to export search results from JournalTOCs to RefMan.

Let’s assume that your search query is:

Optical Coherence Tomography intravascular coronary imaging

  1. Sign in from https://www.journaltocs.ac.uk/index.php?action=signIn
  2. If you are a Premium user, select the Articles Tab and enter your search query as shown below:
     

    Premium Users

  3. If you are a Free user, enter your search query and tick the for Articles by Keywords option, as shown below:
     

    Premium Users

  4. Hit Go to execute your search
  5. The results listing the articles found for your search will be displayed as shown below:
     

    Premium Users

  6. When you click on the title of an article, the system will display its full citation and you will be able
    to tick the checkbox near to its title to save it in your Articles to Export page, as shown in the following example:
     

    Premium Users

  7. Repeat the previous step for all the articles you want to export.
  8. Go to your Articles to Export page (https://www.journaltocs.ac.uk/savedArticles.php) and click the Export to EndNote link to produce a compatible RIS file (EndNote®).
     

    Export to EndNote

  9. Follow the instructions at https://www.refman.com/support/faqs/import/faq3.asp to import the RIS file into your RefMan database.

Written by Santiago Chumbe

November 5th, 2013 at 1:56 pm

NHS: Don’t worry, JournalTOCs supports the old IE7 browser

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NHS Homepage with IE7 in 2010

Many would argue that there is no excuse for software developers not to support old browsers, aka browsers that have been released more than five years ago or do not support the advanced web apps commonly used in modern websites.

Some will point out that developers should apply standards that all browsers should support, and that the whole point of well formed HTML is that it should render in any browser.

But what about security vulnerabilities commonly found in older browsers and what about the support for the rich and interactive web apps that have transformed the way we interact with websites nowadays? Shouldn’t those two reasons be enough to convince anyone to upgrade their browser? Our experience with the NHS, the major UK Heath service, has shown us that sometimes the answer is no.

JournalTOCs is used by hundreds of professionals from the NHS. Sometimes we receive enquiries from NHS librarians, who are using JournalTOCs to support the current awareness demands of their patrons. A recurrent question, made by those librarians in a rather apologetic manner, is whether JournalTOCs web pages will work and render without problems by the browser being used by many in the NHS, which is the old version 7 of the Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE7). Those librarians are pleased to learn that JournalTOCs has been developed to work with IE7 and also newer browser versions.

IE7 was released by Microsoft in October 2006. It was shipped as the default browser in Windows Vista systems and was offered as a replacement for IE 6 for Windows XP systems. IE7 was superseded by IE8 in March 2009, which in turn was replaced by IE9, released in March 2011. IE9 no longer supports Windows XP systems. IE7 is now a seven years old browser. However, it is estimated that IE7’s global market share is still 4%.

The issue becomes relevant in particular when you need to provide an external web service to NHS users. Probably a sizable chunk of the IE7 market share comes from the NHS and other departments from the UK government such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The NHS alone has more than 800,000 workstations and laptops nationwide, where IE7 is installed by default.

Why is an organisation with the importance of the NHS letting its staff use a seven years browser that has already been superseded by two versions? And why IE only? The clue to the answer can be found by the fact that the NHS is one of those organisations that are more concerned with maintaining the stability of their major critical intranets than being compliant with external services and websites that are occasionally used by their staff. Google can be omnipresent and very important for millions of users and can afford to stop supporting old browsers (Modern browsers for modern applications) and develop its own browser, but it will not deter those organisations from continuing using a browser that is strongly interrelated with their enterprise intranets.

As long as critical NHS enterprise applications are still depending on IE7, JournalTOCs will continue supporting IE7. We understand that enterprise applications are not easy to upgrade. They deal with booking services, expense claims, corporate accounts, staffing changes, CRM systems, payroll, etc. Upgrading these expensive systems is not a trivial task. It’s one process that is full of risks. So, it makes sense that these systems are upgraded at large intervals of time, with the process being rigorously controlled and methodically run. It also makes sense that JournalTOCs should be able to be useful to staff working in the NHS and other national organisations from other countries that are in a similar situation to the NHS.

Written by Santiago Chumbe

April 22nd, 2013 at 12:47 pm